Baby Paul Cullen, the youngest member of the original Zephyr skate team and Venice Beach legend has passed on. Services are 10:30am Saturday the 25th at St Monicas Catholic Church on California Ave in Santa Monica. Sunday the 26th at 9am there will be a paddle out memorial at the Venice Pier. Donations for the family are being taken at Venice Originals at 1525 Pacific Ave.
From Christie Martin:
Baby Paul Cullen (1962-2009)
Baby Paul Cullen (born as Paul Michael Cullen) was raised in the Santa Monica, California at Idaho and 9th. His mother is straight from Belfast and his father hails from Dublin. There was trouble between those two towns which is one of the catapults that led the couple to Canada and then to Santa Monica. Paul was 8 months old. He grew up at the ocean. He would tell me stories of how his dad would fish off of the Santa Monica Pier and watch him surf just below waving to him. His brother Brian was born four years after Paul and Paul loved having a younger brother.
Paul’s story of when he met Jay Adams was he was walking down the street one day and this kid was throwing this skateboard far into the air, sometimes catching it, sometimes letting it smack down onto the pavement. He was fascinated by this older kid and when Jay asked him if he wanted to try it…game on! It never ended from that point. They became fast friends. Sometimes he jokes that Jays mom was his second mom because she was so strick with the boys. He told me one time Phellan (Jays mom) caught them doing something, picked them both up by the hair and made them stand in separate corners.
He went on to become a Z-boy a few months after the team was formed…the youngest member. He loved to learn from these guys and knew that he had to create his own style to be respected and nothing stopped him. He respected Skip so much as they all did. He, like the others did some films…he did “Go for it”?, he did some commercials like Pepsi and Heinz, he was in the magazines. He was doing well at the skate competions. He left the Zephyr team and went with Alva to Z-flex.
Wes Humpston tells great stories of how Paul would run up to him, grab his board and take off with it. Anyone else he would have been pissed, but he just let Paul because he was so enamoured with his skating abilities. Wes used to stand at the bottom of the pool/bowl and just watch Paul and Arthur Lake do circle after circle after circle around him. Check out his pics on his site here.
He never stopped skating or surfing, but he got into the punk rock scene. He ended up living in Hollywood with the guys from Black Flag. He would tell me some really funny stories about that house. He was living a crazy punk rock life, he even sung in his own punk rock band!
He moved to Hawaii and surfed the big surf there. Jay can tell you some great stories of those guys surfing, getting into trouble, etc. Paul has some really fun memories from over there on the north shore.
He did a stint at Bryman University to be a medical aid and eventually a paramedic. I met him about this time and was so supportive to this endeavor, it just never happened and a few months later I was pregnant.
This became his life mission, to help me to bring a healthy, beautiful child into the world and by the time Brianne graced us with her presence, it was pure joy and love from the minute they met eyes…he met her before I did. He loved her so much. He doted on her from morning until night, would have protected her from anything. He was already teaching her how to skate and surf in the pool. All he wanted is to watch his daughter grow and surf with her. He wanted us to live somewhere near the beach so we could always surf together. If there was no surf, he would just go get wet.
I want people to know, that his life wasn’t about drugs. He had great friends and wanted to do whatever it took to support his daughter and live a good life. It just so happens that when the pressure got to much drugs knew just how to sneak in in those moments and grab him.
He should be remembered as a ripper skater, shredder surfer, and loving doting father. We will love, and honor you forever in our hearts.
RIP Baby Paul Cullen